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Zanu PF Harare province is ungrateful — says losing 2023 elections candidates, as fallout over campaign vehicles escalates

By Staff Reporter

LOSING Zanu PF candidates in just-ended harmonised elections have lashed out at the Harare provincial leadership, accusing them of vindictive conduct, following their threats to enlist the police to recover campaign vehicles from individuals defying a circular instructing them to surrender cars.

The affected unsuccessful aspirants said they were not defying the Politburo decree to return party-issued vehicles, but wanted an audience with the top hierarchy first before a decision could be made.


Some of them said they felt belittled by the manner the directive was communicated through social media, saying Zanu PF ought to have engaged them personally.

While some confirmed to to have surrendered the cars last week, others felt Harare province was trigger-happy to punish aspiring MPs, who worked so hard to ensure the revolutionary party narrowed the losing margins against Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) in most urban constituencies.

Among those listed in an internal circular to have defied the directive included Zanu PF Budiriro North candidate, Godwin Gomwe, Spencer Machangara (Chitungwiza North), Kiven Mutimbanyoka (Zengeza East), Tauya Mauka (Kuwadzana West), Tatenda Mukwena (Budiriro South), Mike Mashonganyika (Highfield), Witness Zinyama (Glen View North), Offard Muchuwe (Glen View South), Muchineripi Chamatowa (Dzivarasekwa), Tellmore Mujavhura (Kuwadzana East), among others.

According to the circular, only eight out of the 26 losing Zanu PF parliamentary candidates had surrendered the vehicles by October 5.

Contacted for comment by at the weekend, Gomwe confirmed to have earlier returned the car.

“Kindly call and check with Zanu PF Headquarters transport department whether l am refusing to surrender the car. Check if the vehicle is not there, and also check when it was returned.

“That circular you refer to is coming from Harare province but headquarters is the one that wrote instructing that cars be returned and this is where l took the vehicle,” said Gomwe.

Losing Kuwadzana West candidate, Mauka told this publication he was not defiant but was only following proper procedure to return the car.

“I am not refusing with the car but you have to understand how l got it in the first place. These are not our personal vehicles, we were given by the party and we will eventually surrender them…it’s not a difficult thing to comply.

“The problem is as if we committed an offence, we didn’t commit a crime withholding them because others had representations and complaints they wanted to lodge. We felt we must be treated with respect having worked so hard to ensure President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the election despite us losing,” said Mauka.

He said losing candidates should have been called to the negotiating table rather than being subjected to ridicule.

Recently, Zanu PF instructed all its party candidates who lost in the just-ended harmonised elections to return top-of-the-range off-roaders they received ahead of the 2023 political campaigns.

In a show of its financial muscle, Zanu PF doled out 210 brand new branded vehicles, including 4×4 Nissan Navaras and Ford Rangers, to parliamentary representatives contesting in the polls, but had earlier warned losers would be forced to surrender vehicles.

In a circular dated September 29, 2023, addressed to all provincial chairpersons, Zanu PF secretary general, Obert Mpofu said all defeated aspirants must relinquish the cars by last week without fail.

“This serves as a directive to all the Zanu PF parliamentary candidates that participated and did not succeed in the just-ended harmonised elections to surrender the party vehicles that were allocated to them to the Zanu PF party headquarters by Wednesday 4 October 2023 without fail.

“This is pursuant to the circular that was issued before, followed by a decision made by the party leadership at the Politburo meeting held on 28 September 2023,” wrote Mpofu.

He told provincial chairpersons to ensure that the command is successfully implemented.

Dozens of losing candidates were affected by the directive.

Following previous elections, the party allowed unsuccessful aspirants to continue using party-issued vehicles to conduct constituency work as shadow MPs hoping to improve their political fortunes. could not immediately establish where the cars would be deployed to, but indications are that some would be allocated to elected party officials in the Main Wing, War Veterans, Women and Youth league structures.

Others are expected to be issued to secretariats at various levels as pool cars.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s party gobbled millions of United States dollars purchasing the campaign vehicles in his bid to secure a second and final term in office and a parliamentary majority.

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